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Renee's Dinner Party with the Cullen Coven

Summary:
Follows Getting to Know the Cullen Coven.Can the Cullens hide in plain sight, choke down Thanksgiving Dinner,find Emmett's filter and keep Renee clueless when she comes to town?


Notes:


2. Ugh! It's What's For Dinner!

Rating 5/5   Word Count 3347   Review this Chapter

“Renee and Phil are driving in this morning. They had an early flight. I’m not sure how she intends to cook a turkey in time for dinner though, unless it’s already thawed. She said she was going shopping in Seattle, and bringing everything in an ice chest.” Bella looked at Edward lying next to her on their bed.

“We’ll have to hope she knows what she’s doing. I don’t think Jacob has convinced Renesmee that raw is the way to go,” said Edward, “though if it was raw, we would have an excuse not to eat it.”

“We can hope…” Bella said nervously, “let’s get Renesmee up and head over to the house, they’ll probably be here within the hour.”

At the house, everyone was sitting in the living room, sitting around Alice. She had her hands pressed to her temples, her eyes screwed shut, and her brows were creased, nearly touching.

“Good morning, Edward, Bella; good morning Renesmee,” murmured Carlisle and Esme.

“Morning. Good morning Grandma an’ Grandpa,” Edward, Bella and Renesmee said together.

“Bella! If your mother doesn’t stop changing her mind, she’s going to give me a migraine! She’s almost completely blocked me! Turkey or duck? Cranberries, or pomegranate? Mashed or scalloped potatoes or yams or cous cous! She’s DIABOLICAL!!! I only know that they’ll be here soon! She just completely fell off my radar, and my head is still spinning! HOW DID YOU LIVE WITH THAT WOMAN!!!” screamed Alice.

“Whoa… I think someone needs Mr. Valium! Quick, Carlisle, write her a prescription!” said Emmett.

“Would you all please stop referring to me as a controlled legal substance? The next person to call me that will know why I survived the wars of the South!!!” snapped Jasper; he was instantly contrite, “Sorry. Alice is wearing off on me a little too much. I think we need to go hunt before your mom gets here Bella.”

“Have fun, but don’t go far, you two,” said Esme.

“Are we going to be able to handle this?” asked Carlisle. “It might just be easier to let Renesmee loose and pick up the pieces later.”

“You’re not going to get out of eating that easily,” said Esme with a smile.

“Well there’s still hope that the hospital will call, I guess.” Carlisle shrugged, and smiled at his wife.

“Brace yourselves; Hurricane Renee is pulling off the highway; Bella, you had better put in your contacts,” said Edward. His eyes unfocused and he was obviously listening to the thoughts of those people coming up the drive. “Alice is right; she changes her mind at the drop of a hat.”

Soon enough, the sounds of two cars pulling onto the gravel drive was audible to their sensitive ears. Alice and Jasper came in the back door, and Rosalie and Emmett came in from the garage.

“Well, let’s all meet them out front,” said Carlisle. He took Esme’s hand and led his family out to meet their guests.

“Why do I feel like we’re meeting more witnesses? Renee isn’t here to slay us right?” said Emmett.

“OW! Geez! What was that for?!” Emmett was rubbing both arms, since Alice, Bella and Rosalie had all hit him.

“No Emmett, my mother isn’t here to play ‘Renee the Vampire Slayer’ though I’m sure if you’re not careful, I’ll show her the pictures of your Elvis jumpsuit Halloween costume when I show her the photos of Renesmee,” said Bella.

“Just warming up, Emmett. The morning is still young; you could always install that filter you were talking about. We can’t afford to let anything slip to Renee, she wouldn’t handle it well. Charlie had a year of watching Nessie sprout up before his eyes to desensitize him,” said Alice. “Of course, that still didn’t keep him from passing out. I’m amazed he handled it so well.”

“Ah, Charlie’s tougher than you give him credit for. I mean, he never shot Edward right? Not one little bullet! That’s got to count for something,” Emmett said. Edward merely glared at him.

Renee and Phil pulled up at that moment in their rental car; Charlie pulled up in his cruiser with Sue in the front seat, and Seth and Jacob in the back like suspects under arrest.

Bella put Renesmee down between Edward and herself, waiting for Renee to come and hug them all.

“Oh Bella! Edward! You look wonderful! I think married life agrees with you two! I can’t believe it’s been over a year since I saw you last! Esme! Alice! Rosalie! You’re all looking so wonderful! Carlisle, you are so generous to let us cook here today! Could you boys help Phil empty the trunk? Oh we found so many wonderful little European markets, and a farmer’s market, oh it was wonderful!”

“Bella? Does she ever breathe?” asked Jasper in a low tone. “I’m afraid I’m starting to get really keyed up.”

Charlie moved over to Jasper after letting Jacob and Seth out of the cruiser. “Think Valium…she’ll never stop if you let her get a breath,” he whispered.

“Oh…my goodness, I must have jet lag! I’m suddenly so tired! Whew!” Renee yawned widely.

“Mom, I’m sure it’s just the drive,” Bella looked over at Jasper, and whispered under her breath, “Don’t put her to sleep!”

“Oh, Bella, is this sweet little thing Edward’s niece? My, she does have a strong family resemblance. Hello! I’m Bella’s mommy! Wow, she even has eyes the same shade as yours. If I didn’t know any better I’d say she was yours!” Renesmee was clinging to Edward’s leg peering around from behind her parents to her Grandma.

“Isn’t that such a funny coincidence? You know what they say, brown eyes are dominant!” Alice was quick to step in and redirect Renee before she looked too closely at Renesmee.

“We found the freshest turkey for a hundred miles! You’ll never believe it! Let’s get into the kitchen and get started!” Renee suddenly found her second wind.

Emmett and Jasper made a big show of each of them taking one end of the ice chest and ‘struggling’ to get it into the kitchen.

“Don’t overdo it guys…Emmett, with your muscles, even limited to human strength you could handle that thing on your own. You’re hamming it up too much,” Bella whispered to them.

They finally let it drop to the floor in the kitchen with a thud, stepping back and letting the women into the kitchen to cook.

“Charlie! You can help me unload these bags. They had the freshest vegetables at this lovely little farmers market in the last town before Forks on the highway. I mean look at this garlic! Smell that! Have you ever smelled such wonderful aromatic garlic?” Renee was pulling huge cloves of garlic out of a brown paper bag and wafting it at everybody.

Suddenly, Charlie looked a little panicked. “What are you going to use garlic for?! Maybe you should ask if they have a problem with garlic before you go waving it around everywhere!”

“Oh relax Charlie! Garlic is such a wonderful natural de-toxer! Here, Bella, you love garlic. Smell this!”

“Wait!” Charlie was starting to get really nervous. Then, Bella understood his panic. In all of the revelations that they had dumped on Charlie the month before, they had forgotten to tell him about the vampire legends that were truly myths.

“Oh, no, Dad, I’ll smell it, I’m O.K.” Bella emphasized the last word and widened her eyes, trying to tell him it was really not going to kill her.

“My goodness Charlie, it’s just garlic; it’s not like Bella’s a vampire or anything!” Renee said. Suddenly everyone stopped and stared at her, not sure what to say. Even the group in the living room watching the game fell silent, waiting for the axe to fall.

“Wow, tough crowd. You haven’t forgotten to laugh in this grey little town, right? It was just a joke! As if my daughter was one of the undead! Do you see any coffins around here Charlie?”

“Ha! Ha! Ha!” Esme came out of it first, laughing stiffly until everyone else joined in.

“Well. Emmett? Would you be a dear and open up that ice chest and pull out the turkey? We’ve got to start preparing it!” said Renee.

Emmett made a big show of hoisting the silly thing up onto the counter, so he could get to it better. Lifting the lid, he got his first glimpse at the turkey and froze.

“Uh Renee?” he said, “This bird still looks like a bird. It still has feathers.”

“I know! Isn’t that so quaint? We found it in a little European market! Apparently, some places over there don’t pluck them before you buy them!” Renee was, for some reason excited about this, probably because of the sheer novelty value of actually plucking the turkey before cooking it.

“So… Who’s volunteering to do the honors?” Renee said cheerfully, while looking at Emmett. Suddenly, Emmett had a wicked little grin cross his face.

“Emmett…”Edward said warningly from the other room, knowing what his brother was about to say.

“Well Renee, I think Edward and Bella should handle this duty. You see, they have previous experience dealing with feathers.”

ow!” Emmett hissed under his breath, trying to keep his face expressionless. Bella had just run over and hit him at vampire speed and returned to her kitchen task trying to look innocent while glaring at Emmett.

“Emmett, are you alright?” Renee was suddenly concerned. Emmett could see a golden opportunity opening before him.

“You know Renee, I think I must have eaten something that didn’t agree with me. I don’t think I’ll be up to eating anything today.” Emmett was rubbing his stomach now, really playing up the part. “No, I think I ought to let my stomach rest.”

“Of course, Emmett! I don’t want you to feel ill today! Why don’t you go watch the game, and send in that son-in-law of mine! He can introduce me to that lovely niece of his after he and Bella get done plucking!”

Emmett got up and went out to the living room to settle in and watch the game. He had just been given a get-out-of-coughing-up-human-mush-later card, and he was cashing in. Every other vampire in the house was already imagining their revenge on him. Carlisle was checking his pager again; wishing the hospital would suddenly need him. Edward and Jasper were glaring at Emmett; Phil was so absorbed into the game that he didn’t notice the silent glares being traded across the room.

“Renesmee, would you please go sit with your Grandfathers and Jacob? I’m needed in the kitchen apparently.” Edward let Renesmee slide off his lap and stood up, walking to the kitchen like a man walking to the gallows. Carlisle, Emmett and Jasper may all have had many decades worth of marital experience before Edward was married, but there was one thing that none of them had never experienced: a mother-in-law.

“Renee? You asked for me?” Edward asked politely.

“Edward! Emmett said you and Bella had previous experience with feathers!” As Renee said it, Edward could hear his brothers laughing softly in the living room. Carlisle’s thoughts were apologetically humorous.

“I need that turkey naked in the next hour!” Renee was palpably excited. “Come on Bella, leave that for Alice, you can help your husband strip this bird!” At these words, the Cullen men not tasked with ‘stripping the bird’ nearly burst into audible laughter.

“Come on Bella, we’d better get to work.” Edward grabbed the bird by the stump of a neck and hefted it out of the chest and followed Bella out the back door to the prop picnic table outside. Bella lay down a large cutting board to put the turkey on and got to work while Edward held the bird by the neck and started with his other hand.

“You know that we’ll never live this down, Edward. We may as well go for broke,” Bella said. As soon as Edward looked at her curiously, Bella grabbed a big handful of the soft down feathers and rubbed them into Edward’s messy coppery hair. Shocked, Edward grabbed his own handful in retaliation and smeared them into Bella’s hair. Soon, an all out feather fight was underway; Bella was in the middle of stuffing a large handful of feathers down Edward’s shirt when they heard a throat clear behind them. Both of them froze and turned around to see Renee standing in the doorframe with a smirk on her face.

“Are you two done out here? Or will I need to sterilize that turkey before I cook it?” Renee raised an eyebrow at them.

“No, Mom, I think we’re just about done here.” Bella’s voice was tight. If she could have blushed she would have. As it was, she couldn’t look her mother in the eye. Renee chuckled softly and went back into the house.

“Well, I think it’s time we took this bird inside” said Edward. Then he turned and took in Bella’s appearance while she took in his. Suddenly, they were both laughing at each other.

“That wasn’t so bad, was it?” said Bella. “At least you didn’t have to use your teeth.”

After they shook themselves free of feathers, Edward opened the door and let Bella enter the house before him. Renee took the bird from Edward and said, “I still need to really meet your niece Edward! She seems like a charming little girl!”

“Of course,” Edward said.

Jacob, having heard their conversation, was carrying her into the kitchen already.

“There’s that beauty! You can call me Renee, or even Grandma, since my Bella is helping your Uncle Edward take care of you! What is your name, honey?” Renee asked, dazzled.

“Renesmee” she said in a tiny voice.

“Re-ne-smee? What a beautiful name! How amazing is it that Edward’s long lost brother would name his little girl Renesmee? I mean it could almost be a combination of Renee and Esme! What a small world we live in huh?”

Edward and Bella looked at each other in shock. Bella lifted her shield and thought at Edward, How close to the mark could she actually get and still be clueless?

“You two are so beautiful when you do that! To think you’ve been married for over a year now, and still you look at each other like that! You’d think you were reading each other’s minds!”

Edward and Bella just laughed stiffly. Clueless they both thought.

With all the food prepped and everyone waiting on the turkey, they all moved into the living room to mingle or take in the game. After a while, Bella smiled over at Emmett, turned to Renee and said, “How would you like to see our pictures from Halloween?”

“Oh, I’d love too!”squealed Renee. Alice was suddenly at their feet, holding out an album.

“We had a lovely party; and Bella, Edward and Jacob took Nessie trick-or-treating around Charlie’s street,” Alice explained.

“Renesmee! You’re so darling! Are you little red riding hood?”asked Renee.

“Uh huh. Jake was my big bad wolf! He wouldn’t put on the dress though. The wolf is supposed to wear the grandma’s clothes. That’s what Aunt Rosalie said! But Jake just wore a leather jacket and a tail. Not his real tail, just a fake tail,” Renesmee looked put out as she remembered the costumes they wore.

Hisrealtail? Renesmee, honey, people don’t have tails! You mean to say not a real tail, not his real tail,” Renee said, her inner teacher coming out.

“Of course!” Bella said, before Renesmee’s consternated face gave any more away.

“Daddy was Mr. Darcy, and Mommy was Miss. Elizabeth Bennett. That’s from Pride and Prejudice. I like that story.”

“My goodness you are intelligent! Did Bella read that to you?”

“No, I read it,” started Renesmee.

“With Mommy, she calls me mommy,” interrupted Bella. It wouldn’t do for Renee to think that this seemingly four year old child was reading Austen classics on her own, however true it may be.

“Of course, I should have realized. You and Edward are so wonderful with her, you’d think she was your natural born child,” Renee looked a little teary-eyed before she looked back at the album. She sighed at the pictures and turned the page and started laughing. “Oh Emmett! You make such a nice Elvis! All those rhinestones! You could dazzle somebody walking out into the sun with that on!”

Emmett could dazzle anyone in the sunshine even without it,’ thought Rosalie. Edward cringed.

“Usually, though, you don’t see young fit guys impersonating fat older Elvis. What was that man thinking? Really, all that polyester; how he got there from leather jackets and jeans, I’ll never know. I guess the seventies weren’t very friendly for fashion,” continued Renee.

“Tell me about it,” grumbled Alice.

“Just be glad you didn’t have to live through it, dear,” said Renee.

“Believe me; I’m never more grateful than when I remember that I wasn’t alive during that tragically fashion-less decade,” Alice said it with such sincerity that Bella almost forgot that Alice was very much around in the seventies, though technically not alive.

“Oh, when you get as old as me, you’ll probably look back on your teenage years and wonder, ‘what was I thinking?’ when remember the things that you wear now,” said Renee.

Again, Edward and Bella were starting to get nervous about how close, and yet how far Renee was from truly understanding the irony of her words.

Everyone suddenly heard the timer on the oven start to ring. “Great! Everyone, grab a dish from the kitchen and we’ll move everything into the dining room. I’ll bring in the turkey!” Renee was nearly bubbling over in her excitement.

While everyone settled into the dining room, Alice suddenly appeared with four large purses; she started handing them out to Esme, Rosalie, and Bella, while keeping one for herself.

“Alice?” Bella questioned. “This bag is as big as my backpack from high school; don’t you think Renee will wonder why we’re suddenly ready for an overnight at the dinner table?”

“Well, would you prefer eating all the food? With these, we can get away with just a couple of bites each. Besides, I’ve got it covered.” Alice pulled out another purse that had a bow attached. “See? Renee can’t question a gift!”

With the questionably sized purses slung over their shoulders, the Cullen women braced themselves and marched into the dining room. Renee was, of course touched by the gift, and thrilled to be included into the sisterhood. ‘If only she knew,’thought Bella.

“Renee, I must say, everything looks wonderful,” said Charlie.

“Yeah, that’s one good lookin’ naked bird!” said Emmett. He tensed up his face, expecting someone to hit him for his innuendo laced comment.

“Well, Emmett, I think you may have recovered enough by now, perhaps you’d like to sample some, and see how your stomach does?” unexpectedly, it was Carlisle who voiced what was going through all of the Cullen’s heads.

“Sure…” Emmett was instantly back to feeling ‘green’.

Everyone served food onto their plates. With all of the non-vampires at the table actually eating, and everyone talking and laughing, the vampires at the table were able to get away with minimal ingestion, maximum purse usage. However, the bites they took were exactly what they knew they would be. Slimy, chunky, chewy balls of dirt flavored yuck.

“Renee, you simply outdid yourself this time; I doubt I have ever tasted a finer meal prepared by your hands,” said Charlie.

“Thank you Charlie, I’ve become a bit of a Food Network addict!”

It figures, Renee would finally figure out how to cook something right; now that everything she cooks is guaranteed to taste like dirt flavored lard chunks,’ thought Bella.

“This has been simply the best holiday this family has ever had; I think we should commit to making this a yearly tradition! Nothing like a stomach full of good food to bring a family together, right?” said Renee.

“Sure, sure,” said Bella.

“In fact I think we should stir things up a bit next year, everyone can bring their favorite dish, like a potluck! What would you guys like to bring?”

The Cullens all looked at each other, wondering what the best thing to say would be. Renesmee took a breath to say something; Alice squeaked out a warning to Edward, whose hand reached out and covered her mouth just as she uttered a ‘b’ sound.

“Bambi! I mean deer. We’ll have venison!” Edward interjected quickly.

“Oh, that sounds so rustic! That sounds great!” said Renee. “How should we get one? Do you guys know any good hunters around here?” Renee’s eyes scanned everyone at the table, thinking ‘These great outdoorsy people must know one good hunter somewhere.’

Everyone looked around at one another, and together said, “Sure, sure.”